Nicole Malia - June 19, 2021
The Butterfly Mindset
The life cycle of a butterfly is often used as symbolism for grown and new birth. From the growing stages of the caterpillar to the emerging of a beautiful butterfly at the end. Before I get too far, I wanted to explain that my family decided we wanted to help save the Monarch Butterfly species! We have a couple milkweed plants, a ton of caterpillars, and eggs being laid on our plants daily. It's been an absolutely beautiful experience but can definitely escalate quickly, lol.
In the time I've spent observing, I realized something when comparing my life journey to the butterfly: simply becoming the butterfly was never the end goal. The caterpillar metaphor is along the lines of beautiful things taking time and is even compared to the evolution of self. What's celebrated is the emerging of the butterfly after undergoing intense changes, but what happens after the butterfly emerges?
If you look at the butterfly from the caterpillars POV, you see "#goals". But here's where we get to the mindset change. This new butterfly now has to endure even more challenges in the next stage of her life. Not to discredit the challenges of the caterpillar to not get eaten by predators or starve- but with the growth comes a fresh set of challenges. The end goal isn't to become the butterfly, it's to make more butterflies. The freshly emerged butterfly has to dodge all sorts of challenges in her life just to come back to possibly the same plant they were born on (butterflies are smart and nature is amazing) to lay eggs. Even if they're almost eaten by a bird, bounce off a windshield, or attacked by other butterflies, the goal is always to come back so they can lay their eggs.
Now hold on, hear me out. You could say that's literally just the butterfly life cycle. It HAS to do those things because it's an insect. And I would say well, sure- humans have free will but that's not the point. That's a somewhat different topic so stay on the same page here.
This little bb was a few days old. Ignore my nails, thank you ;)
If we're comparing our life journey, our soul searching, and unveiling our purpose to the butterfly at all, we need to be clear on what "success" is to the butterfly. If the only thing the butterfly does is emerge, what purpose does it serve? Likewise, if all we as humans do is achieve a certain level of success for ourselves, what was the point? What is the purpose? If we want to metaphorically emerge as butterflies ourselves, our goal should also be to create more butterflies- aka more people with a purpose. Just like butterflies make the world a more beautiful place, more people with a purpose make the world better too!
When laying her eggs, the butterfly searches for a plant they deem as "safe" and the most ideal leaf to give the next butterfly the best chance of survival. When we reach the butterfly stage of life, it should be our purpose to help others get to that stage too.
The goal is not to simply become the butterfly, the goal is to make more butterflies.
xo, Nicole Malia